Codes in NEOSYS

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1 Codes in NEOSYS

1.1 Inventing codes

In order to speed up data entry, NEOSYS usually allows codes to be entered directly instead of relying on name searches and popups which are slower.

There are three strategies to invent codes:

  1. Sequential numbers. Easy to generate codes for new records but the codes are difficult to remember and are meaningless
  2. Meaningful codes. Invent a pretty code so that when you look at the code it reminds you of the name. There are many alternatives though and it is usually difficult later on to re-guess/remember the exact code given only the name.
  3. Meaningless codes. Use some mechanical rule for generating a code from the name. If the rule is simple, then later on we can re-guess the code from the name easily. Unfortunately looking at the code usually does not remind us of the name.

The real aim of coding, if you think about it for a while, is to be able to know the code to enter it quickly even if all you know is the name. Therefore method three is the most useful.

Surprisingly, the main aim is NOT to know the name on seeing the code which is natural instinct of most people when coding. Meaningful codes are indeed pretty but usually it is difficult to remember the exact code for data entry.

Interestingly, it is common to find NEOSYS clients who have never met each other to be using identical codes for the same clients and suppliers etc.

1.2 Using Four letter coding system

This four letter coding system has proven over many years to be easy to use and surprisingly good at avoiding duplicate codes where there are thousands of records.

Follow these steps rigorously:

1. If there is a well known abbreviation for something use that regardless of how many letters there are. e.g. IBM or UNESCO

2. Remove all standard words from the name to be encoded. Egg The, Company, Al, Incorporated, Ltd etc

3. If there is only one word left in the name take the first four letters otherwise take the first two letters of the first two words and ignore any following words.

4. If the code accidentally duplicates with another code, simply add a 2 or 3 or 4 onto the end of the code. DO NOT INVENT YOUR OWN CODES.

5. If you know in advance that there are several similar accounts with almost the same name then first use the three rules rigorously ... and then add two letters e.g. country, town, currency etc to distinguish the duplicates.

1.3 Examples of four letter coding

NESO - NEOSYS Software Ltd. (rule 3: easy to take the first two letters of the first two words)

KHAL - Al Khaleej (rule 2 and 3: Remove the standard word Al and take the first four letters of the only word)

IBM - IBM Corporation (rule 1: Standard abbreviation although in practice would probably have a geographical location appended)

STBU - Stephen Burns (rule 3: Personal names code well in using four letters)

STBU2 - Stephan Butros (Rule 4: An accidental duplication .. simply add 2)

GUOIDU - Gulf Oil Dubai (Rule 5: We know there are many Gulf Oil records so we add two letters for the location)

GUOIJE - Gulf Oil Jeddah (Rule 5:)